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Mike Gillespie returns to USC with Irvine

March 10, 2009 |  1:49 pm

UC Irvine baseball coach Mike Gillespie answer questions during last year's NCAA playoffs. Drama in college baseball, usually reserved for the playoffs and College World Series, goes local tonight when 10th-ranked UC Irvine visits USC.

It's another homecoming for Irvine Coach Mike Gillespie, who in 20 seasons at USC guided the Trojans to 15 playoff appearances, four World Series and the 1998 national title. Gillespie, however, was forced out after the 2006 season and replaced by Chad Kreuter, his son-in-law.

Irvine hired Gillespie before the 2008 season, and he led the Anteaters to a Super Regional appearance and a 42-18 record. Among those victories was an 11-3 win over the Trojans at USC's Dedeaux Field.

Irvine is 7-4 this season, USC 4-6.

Gillespie has a 812-493-2 career record. Kreuter, who played 17 years in the major leagues, is 59-63 in two-plus seasons with the Trojans.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Mike Gillespie, UC Irvine baseball coach. Credit: Nati Harnik/Associated Press